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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Most of our coursework here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting involves techniques and strategies you should use when trying to find smart bets. Today, I want to talk first about what NOT to do in these final weeks leading up to the tournaments.

Don’t, and I mean DON’T spend too much time listening to all the “bracketology” coverage. ESPN has decided to make that a brand. Other places are jumping on the bandwagon. For sports bettors, that stuff is virtually meaningless. You might “think” it’s important because the media will have you believe that teams on the bubble will bring extra motivation, or that some elite teams are thinking about whether or not they might earn a #1 seed next month. That’s almost all hot air. If anything, those are “bet against” factors because lines are shaded against how the public is influenced by TV hype.

So, you should consider betting AGAINST teams on the bubble because lines might be inflated 1-2 points on “need,” even though talented teams shouldn’t have to sweat the bubble this late in the season.

And, you should consider betting AGAINST any team whose players are already talking about Dance seeding. It’s way too early. We saw that this past weekend, and it’s going to happen several more times the next few weeks.

Frankly, it’s fine by me if you just leave the volume turned down on your TV during games…and change the channel during halftime shows through the rest of February. You don’t need those distractions. You should be focusing on all the elements we’ve been teaching you this winter and in year’s past for beating this sport. You’ll find a lot more smart bets doing real work than you will even fading the hype from ESPN. Las Vegas winners are focused on the teams and the betting markets rather than talking heads.

If you have a personal interest in Bracketology chatter because you’re a true college basketball hophead…and you can’t help following along…I’d recommend this homework…

*Instead of assuming “bubble” teams are now super-motivated to win, do some extra digging to find out why they’ve had tough stretches this season. What’s their biggest weakness? Have they suffered key injuries? Are they poorly coached, and that’s being exposed in rematches? What could get in the way of this team earning those “must-have” victories down the stretch? If you can pin that down, you’re already smarter than all the “bracketology” guys. And, you’re well-positioned to score multiple winners betting against certain teams from now all the way through their conference tournaments.

*Instead of assuming elite powers are motivated to earn a #1 seed, find the most dangerous spots on their upcoming schedules where they’ll get spanked if they’re not focused. In some cases, that’s any battle against a top-notch opponent in their conference. For others, it’s a road game at a tough site. And, there are also instances where an upcoming opponent might have a strength that lines up perfectly against an elite teams Achille’s heel. It’s very hard to find any stretch of time right now that doesn’t feature rankings upsets. They’re happening daily. On some Saturdays, it feels like they’re happening hourly. You’ll be able to spot these in advance for the elites if you’re focusing on their remaining schedules. Maybe you won’t nail them all. But, you’ll hit a lot more than 50/50 against the spread.

*Finally, study and learn the conference standings in your sphere of interest. Many head coaches are much more worried about this than the postseason right now. They want to win regular season championships. Mid-level coaches want to finish with a record better than .500. What head coaches are saying in locker rooms and huddles is much more often about conference races than “bracketology.” You’re much more likely to stumble into intangible advantages using this line of attack. If you only follow your favorite local conference, memorize those records. If you only follow the major TV conferences, do what you can to learn the dynamics of every race. If you’re only monitoring the AP rankings and bracketology chatter, then you’re missing out on what matters most! (Has Oklahoma played like a team that deserved it’s AP ranking or early projected seed at any time in the past month?! You would have noticed that if you were on top of the standings every day).

 If you’d like some help finding nightly winners, my BEST BETS can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155, or on weekends before the first games get started.

I have to admit, this is a very exciting time to be a college basketball handicapper. I’ve been doing this for so long that it takes a lot to get The Dean of Sports Handicapping revved up. But, there’s so much depth of talent this season that truly anything can happen. And, the betting markets have been so slow to react to developments (particularly teams being WORSE than expected) that easy winners haven’t been that hard to find.

Handicapping and betting is always more fun when your hard work is being rewarded. I hope you’re experiencing that already this season…and trust that a lot more of it is in your immediate future. See you again next week at this time for our next class.

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